Mewtwo Strikes Back

Pokemon: The First Movie
Pokemon: The First Movie
Japanese Title
Mewtwo Strikes Back
Movie Pictures
Movie Pictures
Release Date
July 18, 1998 Japan
November 12, 1999 US/Canada
Pikachu Short
Pikachu's Summer Vacation
Ash and his friends try to stop Mewtwo, a Pokemon created by Team Rocket scientists, from taking over the world.
Character Appearances
Ash Ketchum, Misty, Brock, Jessie, James, Gary Oak, Giovanni, Dr. Fuji, Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny, Neesha, Fergus, Corey, Miranda, Pirate trainer, Announcer, Rocket grunts, Pokemon trainers
Pokemon Debuts
Mewtwo, Mew, Donphan
Pokemon Appearances
Pikachu (Ash's, clone), Meowth (Team Rocket, clone), Togepi (Misty's), Bulbasaur (Ash's, clone), Charizard (Ash's, clone), Squirtle (Ash's, clone), Staryu (Misty's), Psyduck (Misty's, clone), Vulpix (Brock's, clone), Weezing (James's), Nidoking (Gary's), Arcanine (Gary's), Persian (Giovanni's), Nidoqueen (Fergus's, clone), Golduck (Fergus's, clone), Tentacruel (Fergus's, clone), Seadra (Fergus's, clone), Gyarados (Fergus's, clone), Vaporeon (Fergus's, clone), Venusaur (Corey's, clone), Pidgeot (Corey's, clone), Sandslash (Corey's, clone), Hitmonlee (Corey's, clone), Rhyhorn (Corey's, clone), Scyther (Corey's, clone), Blastoise (Neesha's, clone), Wigglytuff (Neesha's, clone), Ninetales (Neesha's, clone), Vileplume (Neesha's, clone), Rapidash (Neesha's, clone), Dewgong (Neesha's, clone), Golem (Pirate's), Machamp (Pirate's), Venomoth (Pirate's), Pinsir (Pirate's), Raticate, Fearow, Alakazam, Magneton, Tauros, Dragonite
According to the DVD commentary, at one point in the American version of the film, Team Rocket incorrectly identify Scyther as Alakazam and Sandslash as Sandshrew as the Pokemon are being cloned. This was picked up after the voice recording by the producers' children, but they kept it in deliberately to see if the fans got the errors. Pidgeot is also incorrecty referred as Pidgeotto and Sandslash is called Sandshrew. When Fergus lets Gyarados out into the water, its lip turns blue, then suddenly switches back to yellow again.
In the American version of the film, Brock states when riding with Team Rocket disguised as vikings, that he didn't think vikings were around anymore, and Ash said that he thinks they live in Minnesota, a reference to the Minnesota Vikings football team. The VHS release of the film had a trailer to Pokemon 2000 and came with a free trading card. The DVD release came with a Mewtwo promotional card. At the end of the Japanese version, Team Rocket didn't have their minds erased, because Mewtwo didn't know they were there; note how they weren't floating in the air like the others and they were the only ones left on the island. This marks the second appearance of a Johto Pokemon (Donphan). Several portions of the background music from the American version of the movie underscore is later used in the TV series around seasons 4 or 5. Both The Battle of the Badge and Showdown at the Poke-Corral has scenes that led into this movie, so continuity wize, this most likely take place directly after Showdown at the Poke-Corral. Despite the fact that this Mewtwo is the only Mewtwo (created in a lab with no one else alive but Giovanni knowing of his existence), Mewtwo has been made out earlier to be just an average rare Pokemon; it appeared on the list of Pokemon in Bill's lighthouse and Mewtwo's picture has appeared on other Pokemon lists other times throughout the series.
Music Edits
In the original movie when Mewtwo destroys the lab there is no music, while in the dub they added some to it. During the opening credits, the Japanese opening theme for Pokemon is replaced with a jazzed-up version of the dub theme. The dub replaces the Japanese theme when Dragonite arrives with a very similar piece of music. In the dub, Brother My Brother is added during the climax of the movie, while in Japan an instrumental piece is played. While the closing credits play, in the dub multiples songs are played from the movie CD soundtrack, while in Japan one song was played.
Dialogue Edits
When Mewtwo is asking himself various questions like where he came from the narrator's voice in the dub is rather loud compared to Metwo's voice. Mewtwo didn't say "God" at all in the dub when he was wondering about who created him since you can't say "God" in kids' cartoons. Giovanni tells Mewtwo he'll help him control his powers, but in the Japananse version there was no mention of that. During the opening credits, in Japanese Ash's mouth moves, but you can't hear him talking, while in the dub they added some dialogue. In Japan when Pirata loses he says "oh my god", while in the dub it was replaced with oh no!". No one in the Japanese version are talking at all in the Pokemon Center, but in the dub there are tons of people having conversations. In the dub, the lady at the Pokemon Center refers to some legend regarding the storm, while in Japan she simply says that it's the worst storm she's ever seen. In the dub, the line "What's happened here?" is changed to "Behold. With pokemon and humans eliminated, the clones shall inherit the world." to drive home the fact that Mewtwo is a villain. In the dub, Mewtwo says that he will block all the okemon's special abilities using his psychic powers, while in Japan he makes no mention of that. They added the whole "anti-fighting" angle to the story to the dub. In the dub, Brock says that the Pokemon will fight to the death, while Misty says that it's a fight nobody will win; in Japan, they talk about how when a Pokemon's territory is invaded it won't give up until their opponent has been driven away, which may result in their death. The dub adds the cries of all the Pokemon when Mewtwo is carrying them away, while in Japan they are silent.
Sound Edits
An alarm sound was added when Mewtwo escapes from its test tube in the dub. At the end of the opening credits we hear Pikachu say its name when it attacks, but in Japan nothing was heard. The noise of Team Rocket's oars hitting the water was removed in the dub. 4Kids added a neat noise everytime Mew swoops down out of the sky.
Video Edits
In the title screen in the original version, the camera goes through the letters like a maze until the camera zooms out and reveals the title instead of just a normal boring title. In the dub, we see Machamp come out of its PokeBall twice, while in Japan, we only see Machamp come out of its PokeBall once.
Voice Edits
In the dub, when the cloning computer tells Team Rocket about the destruction of the lab, the voice starts as a female before it switches to Dr. Fuji, while in Japan the complete recording was in Dr. Fuji's voice; the recording was also malfunctioning in Japan, while it works perfectly fine in the dub.

Mewtwo, a newborn, opens his eyes in a laboratory, finding a dozen people in lab coats. They are scientists, who have given birth to him, by genetically processing cells of Mew, the rarest Pokemon on earth, to create the strongest Pokemon, able to speak the human language. Mewtwo's birth is not natural, but artificial. He recognizes that, and is confused, then destroys the laboratory. The boss of Team Rocket takes him and makes him help them with capturing Pokemon. The mystery of his life is always in his mind, and he destroys the base of Team Rocket too, so he could be alone.

Overlooking the sea in a grassland on a cliff, Ash waits, Brock's stew is ready at a table. Misty helps Brock. Pikachu finds Togepi tottering towards the edge of the cliff, panicks, rushes to help him. Togepi stops an inch from the edge, while Pikachu drops from it. The cliff is not deep at the side to Pikachu's relief. Togepi chuckles to see him crawl up. A man challenges Ash. Ash cheers up, and fights him with Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Pikachu, and he wins. Then Ash receives an invitation, the message told by a beautiful woman in holography. The sender is unknown, who is just introduced by her the strongest Pokemon trainer, and is to have a Pokemon league in the Pokemon castle in New Island. Ash decides to accept the invitation.

A storm outrages waves of the sea, so that it is impossible to launch a ship, as his party arrives at a port. They learn that there are many other trainers who were invited by the stranger, and that a female doctor of a Pokemon center is missing. Trainers try the raged sea, with the help of their Pokemon that can move in the water or fly. Nobody in Ash's party own those types of Pokemon, and they don't know what to do. But a boat appears, and the two sailors offer a ride. Relieved, Ash accepts it. (He doesn't note Meowth at the head of the boat.) Ash is in high sprits in the boat, while Pikachu is scared of sailing. As a huge wave assaults it, the helmets which the sailors wore low over their eyes were swept away, revealing their faces. They are Jesse and James, Ash is astonished. At that time another wave comes, and they are all thrown out of the boat into water. Misty sends Starmie and Ash, Squirtle. Ash and his friends hug either of them, letting themselves totally in the stream. Then they finally reach the New Island they were invited to. So does Team Rocket a moment later.

Only three trainers were there; Sweet, Sorao, and Umio. The woman who appeared in the invitation card tells them to send their Pokemon from their pokeballs, and they obey her. They are astonished when the host appears... he is Mewtwo, the Pokemon who is unknown to them yet. It is out of question that a Pokemon is a trainer, which outrages trainers there. The woman's condition suddenly changes, and she collapses. Ash raises her in his arms, finding her a female doctor who they learned is missing.

Trainers send some of their Pokemon to fight Mewtwo, but he beats them easily. Then he takes the trainers and monsters to a field he made.

Team Rocket steals into the building in the castle, and happens to enter a laboratory. They find many huge tubes there; some of them have a Pokemon. As they wonder what is done there, Meowth is captured by a belt conveyer. He struggles to escape, while magic arms pulls his three hairs out. Meowth manages to escape, seeing that the computer beside the conveyer starts to work, and a copy of him is formed in a tube. Mewtwo, highly intelligent, studies there and successfully creats copies of Pokemon, that are stronger than the original. And they are not just copies; They have lives. Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise come out of tubes, then go to the field, called by Mewtwo using telepathy.

Mewtwo knows that Sorao owns Venusaur, Sweet a Blastoise, and Ash a Charizard. He is proving copies are superior to the originals. It is his revenge for humans who have given a birth to him, making use of him. And copies are strong. They conquer originals easily, disappointing the invited trainers. Mewtwo's revenge doesn't finish. Weird Pokeballs he made fly across the field, each aiming at the original Pokemon. Mewtwo's Pokeballs capture them one after another, now leaving Pikachu. A dozen Pokeballs are sent to him. He runs, sometimes shooting an electric beam. Ash wants to be near him to help him. Finally, Pikachu is captured by a Pokeball. Panicked, he runs after it, but it flies away.

In the laboratory Team Rocket is in, Mewtwo's Pokeballs which contain the trainer's Pokemon are carried on the conveyer belt. As a mechanical hand takes one, the computer analyzes the gene, and creates a copy. Pikachu's Pokeball arrives, and Ash follows. As the hands are stretching toward it -- Ash seizes it tight in both his hands, as the hands reach it. Ash pulls with all his might, then hands grabbed him too. Ash gives another strong pull. Magic hands, which are on the Pokeball and him, are torn, sparking. The computer also breaks, and Mewtwo's Pokeballs spit Pokemon out. Pikachu is saved, and Ash hugs him tight in his arms.

Copies are summoned by Mewtwo and go to the field. Ash and Pikachu follow them with originals. Then they see a small, white Pokemon there. It was Mew, Mewtwo shakes his whole body with mixed feelings, dread and delight that he would fight his original to prove HE is superior. As they fight, monsters also battle with their copies hand-to-hand. The doctor says sadly, watching them fight, "They are copies, which have been created artificially, yet have lives, which are valuable equal to originals'." Pikachu's copy appears, too. He glares at the original Pikachu, and beats him hard. Pikachu doesn't resist and is hit by the copy's blow, and thrown away.

Pokemon, both originals and copies, fight, collapse, and fight... Only, Pikachu doesn't fight, though he is harshly beaten by his copy. The copy shouts at him, "pika, pikachu! (Fight me!)" Pikachu shakes his head, refusing to counter. Tears well up to the copy's eyes, but he cannot stop himself while Mew fights Mewtwo. Crying, the copy continues to beat Pikachu. Finally the copy is exhausted and collapses. Pikachu takes to hold him tenderly.

Ash cannot stand to see them battle any longer, he dashes toward the spot where Mew and Mewtwo are fighting, crying, "Don't! Don't fight any longer!" Two Pokemon shoot sparks then, and they hit Ash. Screaming, he collapses to the ground. Monsters, including Mew and Mewtwo, freeze and just watch him. "Pikapi!" Pikachu goes close to him, looking into his face. His body starts to stiff, and got rocky in a moment right before Pikachu's eyes. Pikachu wonders at first what is going on, sees his friend doesn't move, and shoots an electric beam at him, as he does instictively for fainted creatures. But Ash is still. Pikachu tries once more, then over and over. While he is too tired to shoot a beam anymore, Ash doesn't recover. Tears well up to Pikachu's eyes, roll down his cheeks, and drop to the ground, quickly filtered into the soil. Other original and copy monsters begin to weep. Their tears wet the ground, and are conveyed to Ash through the soil. His body softens slowly, and he recovers finally. Pikachu hugs him, and Ash hugs back.

Mewtwo calls copy monsters by telepathy, and they float up. He can now believe in his life, which is valuable, and is leaving to look for the place they can live. Ash, Pikachu, their party and other people and Pokemon see them flying away, now feeling for them.

When Ash is aware, he is at the port with his friends. Other trainers are there too. No one remembers what happened on the island. The storm is over a moment later, and the sea recovers the peace, its surface brightening in the sunlight.

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